A construction worker has entered a guilty plea in the murder of actress Adrienne Shelley in her West Village Apartment in November 2006. Diego Pillco, an illegal immigrant from Ecuador, waived his right to a trial and pleaded guilty to manslaughter. He will receive a 25-year sentence next month, according to Manhattan DA Robert Morgenthau. From the DA’s office:
In court today, PILLCO admitted that on November 1, 2006 at 15 Abingdon Square, he rode up in the elevator with the victim, Adrienne Levine (Shelly). The defendant noticed that the victim was carrying a big black purse and observed what floor button she pressed. PILLCO rode up one extra floor in the elevator and walked down the stairs to Levine’s floor. The door to Levine’s apartment was ajar; the defendant entered, saw the black bag, and took out her wallet. The victim confronted him and reached for the phone to call the police. PILLCO grabbed the phone and a fight ensued. The defendant further admitted that he covered the victim’s mouth and nose with his hand until she passed out. He then took a sheet, choked her to death, and made it look like a suicide.